Virgin Retail plans to launch a music download service on its Web site next year.
Virgin is testing downloads of games at present, but plans a full music launch by Easter.
Managing director Andy Randall said: 'It will give customers another route to buy music.'
Music will be downloadable from Virgin.com/megastores and Virginmega.co.uk.
Virgin has signed up to technology provider Tornado for its service.
The initiative follows HMV's deal with rock star Peter Gabriel's technology company, OD2, allowing customers to listen to and download tracks from its Web site.